Saturday, July 29, 2017

Atavachron (1986, 2017), by Allan Holdsworth

CD Fan Review

Although Atavachron isn't as perfect an album as its predecessor, Metal Fatigue, it's nearly as perfect, with Allan Holdsworth sounding the slickest he ever has up to this point.

Already a pioneer in the use of guitar synthesizers, Holdsworth adds the Synthaxe to his sonic palette. The Synthaxe is a cross between a guitar and a synthesizer, with Holdsworth adding a breath controller, enabling him to achieve crystalline tones never before possible with six strings.

The result is an album and title track that live up to their namesake, a time machine from the original Star Trek series episode "All Our Yesterdays," which is also the name of the one vocal track here, sung by Rowanne Mark. The cover illustration features Holdsworth, apparently an ardent Trekkie, in the atavachron, dressed in a Starfleet engineering/security red shirt and holding his Synthaxe.

Exploring strange new sounds and seeking out new music and new compositions, Allan Holdsworth boldly goes where no guitarist has gone before.

--Raj Manoharan

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